v. 1. To make a firm decision about
2. To find a solution to; solve
n. 1. Firmness of purpose, resolution
2. A determination or decision; a fixed purpose
In this post, I shared with you my realization that I'd been in denial. I pretty much outed myself as a person who hadn't been dealing with myself honestly and was wearing the results on my body in the form of extra pounds and flabby muscles.
Since then, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how we make changes in our lives, the myth of willpower, and the reasons we don't live up to our commitments to ourselves.
I've concluded a few startling things: Changes we don't believe will make a difference or have any bearing on the way we live our lives. The short explanation: We don't really believe it matters in any meaningful way. "No willpower" is what we say when what we really mean is, "I haven't been convinced it matters". The broken vows don't count because we were making commitments about things we didn't believe in.
Think about it for a minute. Roll it around in your head: You don't make the changes you talk about because you don't believe they matter.
Here's an example from my sister (who, I'm certain, will be thrilled to read about her own life here!). My sister has struggled to keep on top of her laundry. Seriously struggled. She and her husband live alone - just the two of them - and she can't keep up on her laundry (or so she tells me). She makes the effort to get into a rhythm but she doesn't really stick to it and soon she's dealing with piles of laundry in various states: dirty, needing to be folded, needing to be put away. Why? Because she really doesn't believe that having her laundry done will make any meaningful difference in her life. Even more shocking? It might not! I don't live with her...I don't know how laundry is affecting her life. Regardless, until she truly believes that doing laundry matters and will positively impact the quality of her life, the laundry-dance will be one she does regularly.
Does that make sense to you? Think of all the things you say you should be doing and how many times you've promised yourself you would start doing them, only to fall out of the habit almost as quickly as you decided to incorporate it into your life.
Remember my failed attempt to have our family go 30 days without Fast Food? Since then, I've continued to educate myself, continued to commit to paying off debt and spending wisely and the Fast Food habit has disappeared--all without willpower or recriminations. Why? Because it became easy: I truly believed it was bad for us and bad for our budgets and so believing, I had no problem just not heading out in the first place.
Willpower doesn't come into play - ever. I find that really fascinating and liberating.
So, back to my post about denial and my need to exercise for fitness reasons and for weight reasons and, finally, so that I'm living what I believe and my children see me walking the walk, not just talking the talk. I'm still exercising daily. Yep, every day. I'm not going overboard and I'm not getting manic about it. I'm just taking care of myself and taking it one day at a time. Why? I believe it is necessary and that belief has led to a feeling of resolve and commitment that is easy to live with. No willpower necessary.
Resolve is the counterpoint to denial, whether it is in spending, housework, exercise, or dietary choices. Resolved is not pressured, fearing failure. Resolved is calm because to be resolved is to know you are doing the right thing, are on the right path, and your commitment is sound. Resolve makes things no longer negotiable. They just are.